Just like the other appliances in your home, your chimney needs effort and attention to keep it clean and functioning well. Regular chimney maintenance will help prolong its life-span, and could potentially save you money on costly repairs, so it’s worth the money of paying for a sweep to maintain your chimney.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), you should have your chimney professionally inspected,\ and cleaned annually. The best time for this is just before the weather begins to get cold, so you know your chimney is safe to use throughout the winter months.
There are various reasons you should employ a chimney sweep; these include:
- Creosote buildup. You want your chimney to operate safely. An excessive buildup of creosote can create the right conditions for a chimney fire. It is important to remember that creosote is flammable, therefore it is important to minimize the risk of it causing an issue.
- Carbon monoxide. CO is known as a “silent killer”, due to the fact that it is tasteless, colorless, and odorless. CO is created through the incomplete combustion of oil, gas, coal, and wood, which are all carbon based fuels.
Carbon monoxide can cause fainting, confusion, dizziness, nausea, and headaches. Exposure to the gas can eventually result in death, so it is imperative to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home, as well as having your chimney cleaned regularly.
- It is also important to remember that animal nests, branches, and leaves can easily ignite via the burning embers of a fire. A chimney sweep can ensure your chimney is clean, and clear, so no life-threatening issues can develop.
- Odor problems. A chimney that isn’t maintained well will begin to smell offensive. This is caused by any buildup that obstructs the proper functioning of the chimney.
- Smoke damage. If your chimney is not cleaned on a regular basis, soot will begin to accumulate around the flue. This will stop the flue from drawing the smoke upwards, and will cause it to enter your home instead. Your furniture and carpets will become damaged as a result.
It is very important that you don’t try to inspect your chimney yourself as many issues are only obvious to the trained eye of a professional chimney sweep. If deposits are left to accumulate year after year, they can become hard, and consequently, removal can be costly. Keep in mind, it’s also important to have a sound homeowners insurance policy.
Remember, when it comes to chimney maintenance, cutting corners could mean you’re literally playing with fire.